Another former USA Gymnastics trainer was arrested in Texas this week. Debra Van Horn, 63, was charged in connection with former sports doctor Larry Nassar. He was convicted of molesting gymnasts for almost two decades.
Van Horn was detained on Thursday by Homeland Security officials at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. She had arrived on a flight from China, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The former trainer was formally charged with one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child in June. She returned to the United States to answer the accusations.
“Ms. Van Horn is returning to the United States to answer these false accusations and clear her impeccable name and reputation,” Van Horn’s attorney, Emily DeToto, told the paper. “Ms. Van Horn is charged as a ‘party, under the law of parties.’ That’s just a fancy way of saying, ‘guilt by association.’”
Van Horn worked with Nassar at Karolyi Ranch, a gymnastics training facility in Texas.
Mattie Larson, one of Van Horn’s accusers, testified during a sentencing hearing in January that Van Horn “would be in the room many of the times Larry abused me. If a trainer, a professional trainer, doesn’t say anything about it, I should trust her. At least that’s what I thought.”
These allegations against Van Horn, who worked for USA Gymnastics for 30 years, made her the first person other than Nassar to be charged in direct connection with his alleged assaults.
Nassar faces six counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child in Texas. He was sentenced in February to 40-125 years behind bars after pleading guilty to assaulting seven people in Michigan for more than a decade.
A total of 150 accusers came to share emotional statements detailing the abuse.
Van Horn was booked into the Walker County Jail on a bond of $20,000. Her first court appearance is set for Sept. 24.